black bear eating
The Supreme Court of Canada has decided municipalities can prohibit the feeding of bears.

The decision is the latest regarding a 2012 Seguin Township bylaw that banned bear feeding for safety concerns.

The bylaw was challenged and defeated in the Superior Court and, subsequently, reinstated by the Ontario Court of Appeal.

That’s when a Seguin resident challenged the bylaw at the Supreme Court of Canada, which dismissed an appeal in July 2014.

Shortly after, Lake of Bays Township followed Seguin’s example. Now both townships will issue fines and seek court injunctions to prohibit feeding.

Senior Media Relations Officer (MNRF) Jolanta Kowalski said municipalities have long had the ability to regulate the feeding of wildlife within their area, adding that the MNRF “strongly discourages feeding wildlife due to the risks the activity presents to wildlife and humans.”

These bylaws will not prohibit hunters from bear baiting in advance of bear hunting seasons as regulated under the Fish & Wildlife Conservation Act 1997.

But, we “will monitor the baiting so that it does not become a nuisance, as the feeding did,” said Township of Seguin Deputy Chief Building Official Ernie Vankoughnett.